It was Tony Mokbel (Robert Mammone) what got pixilated. It was filmed in Errol Street, North Melbourne, not Lygon Street, Carlton and it was trimmed of a few sex scenes and minus the murkins that covered female body parts in the uncut version. The Brazilians and the DPP have certainly spared Victorian sensibilities of what really lies Underbelly.

If you haven’t seen it before, those first two episodes that aired last night are as good as it gets. Victorians will only get to see three more episodes of the 13-episode series. The Kookas believe this is a good thing because the fictional Victoria Police characters become insufferable towards the end with their sanctimonious “do no evil” claptrap.

We all know it’s a jungle out the there and bent coppers galore were picking a lot of the low-hanging fruit. Sure, Purana did a good job in ending the gangland war but spare us all the bleeding heart “due process” rubbish until the coppers with blood on their hands are with the other fruitloops in the Barwon slammer.

We know this miniseries is only a fictional dramatisation but some things in Underbelly are just not true. The Kookas know a few things about true crime and poetic license and we remember Alphonse Gangitano when he was still walking down Lygon Street.

For starters, both Alphonse and Big Mick Gatto were/are Collingwood supporters and wouldn’t be caught dead watching training at the Carlton footy ground. There is also no way that Alphonse would have anything to do with a puissant like Carl Williams and he certainly wouldn’t have been ferrying him to and from crime scenes.

Alphonse really did think he was a movie star gangster and would only deal with big time associates like the Sydney-based Tom Domican and the Perth-based John Kizon.

The acting is excellent — particularly Les Hill and Callan Mulvey as Jason and Mark Moran: Kevin Harrington as their father Lewis, less so. Vince Colosimo grows on you as Alphonse. The Kookas recall the real Alphonse to be a little less manic but we only saw his street angel face.

Writer John “Sly” Silvester pointed out at the weekend that Big Mick was very keen not to be betrayed in the series as anything but a legitimate businessman. That task may become a lot harder in the prequel or Underbelly II.

Peter Fray

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